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6 rules to create the ultimate digital event
Due to the long-lasting pandemic, we needed to re-invent ourselves and this includes the year long success formula of events and conferences. In no time we saw webinars popping up everywhere in such an extend even that by now you would be able to fill your entire week joining all the available online events. Competition becomes fearless, saturation is present, and effectiveness is rapidly declining. Let us try to help you in building the ultimate digital event.
1. What is the purpose of the event?
Before you even think of organizing a digital event, you need to determine the goal that you would like to achieve. Keep focus and decide if the main purpose would be branding, awareness, thought leadership, product demo, networking, ... Every type of message should be driven by a specific format and/or even platform.
2. What format will you use?
For sure you can always use the Powerpoint presentation format, but why not be somewhat more creative. Depending on the purpose of your event you could opt for virtual classes using break-out rooms or round tables using all-together mode.
Why not go for a virtual office tour or unboxing format and adopt more a hybrid setup (phygital). Approved television formats like interview style or entertainment show could work. Why not use a host (famous or not) or even some live music for your program? Will you go live of pre-recorded?
3. Now decide on your platform.
By now you should know what and how you want to bring your message digitally. To bring the experience in the best possible way, you will also need a platform. Some tips here:
If it is more a 1 to many audience and the message is informative, a Teams Live could definitely do the trick. You will limit interference and the Q&A still keeps enough interactivity.
Have you opted to go for a 1 to few with deeper interactivity such as courses, tutorials or classes, I would advise to use the standard Teams setup. It’s easy and fast, you can use breakouts and/or together mode, there is nothing special to install and you don’t need a nuclear physics degree to make it work.
If you are more into networking, innovative platform such as Thola will definitely bring some flavor to the concept. Just know that it will need you a bit more time to prepare for the event and that digital networking also requires some well-prepared agenda and pro-activity to make it work.
In case you really would like to build a unique and fully fledged conference, you will need to get in touch with some specialized agencies. Extra preparation time and costs are inevitable. Do you really need this is your most important question here.
4. How to promote your digital event?
The success of your event will mostly be influenced by your timing and how long in advance you are promoting it. Foresee at least 4 weeks of pre-announcement to the event date for the people to free up their agenda. If it is a short webinar, having it at the end of the day around 4PM can help. People can end the day with your webinar and will be likely more motivated to subscribe.
Next, yes you can use social channels, but do not underestimate the power of the network. Motivate you personnel, colleagues, friends to help promoting and sharing the message. Use some private discount codes to bring in some exclusiveness and even early booking fees can help.
Finally, have you gone through your own client and prospect lists? Maybe you can invite them personally. At least the message is super personal and less expensive than to rent advertising space.
5. Digital IS NOT physical, but bring in some personal sentiment.
It will never be possible to bring the same kind of experience as a traditional on-site event. Don’t try to hide it or try to digitize a traditional event. Nobody cares that your digital booth will look exactly the same as the real stuff, they know it isn’t. That doesn’t mean that you can not humanize the concept.
Have a virtual drink or lunch and have some boxes delivered. Again a great way to have people registering. You need to deliver it, right? Bring in some entertainment: live music, a famous guest, a digital contest ... Have people share the experience online using a specific # to create even more buzz and group feeling.
6. Prepare to the fullest.
Going digital means that you will need to test infrastructure and think of the unthinkable. Do you have the right camera and lightning? Have you foreseen some masking powder against skin reflection? Is there a written script and maybe prompter? Did you test everything in advance on the same computers and network? Do you already have a plan B to switch to a whole different location and/or infrastructure in case of emergency?
But most importantly, stay calm, whatever happens ... people know you did your best and that technical issues can happen. In that case be open and transparent and communicate as soon as possible.
Success and feel free to interact (in the reply bar below, don't be shy) and share your experience!